Is there such a thing as a contest-proof will?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2020 | Probate and Estate Disputes

No one wants their will to be contested in court in a heated showdown after they’re gone. Heirs file lawsuits in court contesting wills most every day, however. Wills may become contested for many reasons. An heir may allege that the testator has a more recent will or that it was signed involuntarily. An heir may also argue that the testator lacked the mental capacity to sign the will or that there may not have been two witnesses present when they executed it. Virtually any will can be contested, but there are measures that testators can take to minimize the chances of this happening. Anyone who drafts their will should explicitly state what assets go to which heirs. It should be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized. Testators should also name an executor (and an alternate), and minor children should have a legal guardian appointed. The heirs to a testator’s estate should be stated explicitly with their full names. If there are any heirs that they want to exclude, then the testator should expressly state their exclusion in their will. Testators should only make video wills in addition to a written one. Having both types can cause discrepancies to rise to the surface and increase the possibility of resulting in a contested will. While a do-it-yourself will is possible to create, it may be helpful to have an attorney draft your will to avoid any potential unforeseen pitfalls in the future. Your executor should know where you keep your will so that they will have access to it to carry out your estate affairs. A legally valid will is essential to ensure your beneficiaries receive the assets of your estate. Otherwise, intestate succession laws will come into place, and anything can happen then. If you are preparing a last will and testament here in Ohio, it may be helpful to have an experienced attorney here in Cincinnati help you prepare the legal document. The last thing you want is for your wishes and desires not to be carried out because your will is declared invalid.